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June 16--  The Vidalia school board has approved a $55 million dollar budget for fiscal year 2018 which starts July 1.

When you take away $7 million in construction costs for the new Vidalia High School, the budget is a bit better than this fiscal year.  In 2017 the school board had to take $916,000 from reserves in order to balance the budget.  In 2018, that number is down to $408,000 and it would have been less were it not for increases in salaries, benefit and health insurance.

According to School Superintendent Dr. Garrett Wilcox, "The cost of healthcare has risen dramatically and that along with increases to the teacher retirement system created a $900,000 deficit.  Our expenditures were going to be $900,000 more in this coming year than they were the year before with no additional staff and that's been the tough part to deal with."

Dr. Wilcox says some of the deficit was reduced by not rehiring two half-time employees and by not filling one full time vacant position.

The school system's reserve fund is projected to be $2.9 millioin in fiscal year 2018.

The school board approved the following personnel actions.

Personnel Resignations: (effective end of 2016/17 school year)

  • Sean Sasser - SDM Principal
  • Clarence Washington - JDD Counselor
  • Jamie Carroll - JDD PreK Teacher
  • Brittany Helms - SDM 4th Grade Teacher
  • Karen Ferguson - VHS Cafeteria Worker

Personnel Recommendations: (for 2017/18 school year)

  • Anthony Payne - Bus Driver
  • Xavier Telfair - Bus Driver
  • Emma Salzer - VHS Math Teacher (49%)
  • Matthew Huddleston - JRT 8th Grade SS Teacher / Varsity Girls Basketball Coach
  • Hollie Mobley - SDM 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Ashley Boston - 4th Grade Math Teacher
  • Margaret Anne Garrett - JDD 1st Grade Teacher
  • Mallory Adams - JDD Special Education Teacher
  • Rachel Phillips - JDD PreK Teacher
  • Maranda Ellis - JDD Receptionist/P.E. Paraprofessional